SENATOR Francis Escudero still led over other vice presidential candidates even as Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gained six percentage points to narrow the gap, the latest The Standard Poll showed.
The survey, conducted by resident pollster Junie Laylo from Jan. 27 to Feb. 4, had 3,000 respondents—all of whom are registered voters with biometrics and who said they are sure to vote. The respondents came from 79 provinces across the country, the National Capital Region, and 21 highly urbanized cities outside of Metro Manila. The survey has a national margin of error of +/- 1.8 percent.
While Escudero retained his lead, his rating fell two percentage points from 33 percent in December to 31 percent in January.
Marcos, on the other hand, gained six percentage points, rising from 19 percent in December to 25 percent in January.
The biggest improvement, however, was posted by Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who jumped to third place with 20 percent, up nine percentage points from 11 percent in December.
Senator Alan Cayetano slid to fourth place with 15 percent, falling three percentage points from 18 percent in the previous survey, followed by Senators Gregorio Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV with five percent and four percent, respectively.
Across geographic areas, Escudero was the top choice of voters from the NCR (37 percent), South Luzon/Bicol (40 percent) and Mindanao (26 percent). A plurality of respondents from the North/Central Luzon at 46 percent said they will vote for Marcos.
Robredo, however, shot past all other vice presidential candidates in the Visayas with 33 percent, a jump of 17 percentage points. In the December survey, the Visayas area was dominated by Escudero (32 percent, now down to 27 percent) and Cayetano (20 percent, now down to 16 percent).
By economic class, Marcos posted a slim lead over Escudero among respondents belonging to the upper and middle classes ABC with 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Escudero, however, had a clear lead among Class D (31 percent) and Class E (32 percent) voters.
By gender, male voters were split between Escudero and Marcos with 28 percent each while a plurality of 34 percent of female voters said they will vote for Escudero.
By age group, most of the youth (ages 18 to 34) and middle-aged (ages 35 to 55) voters said they will vote for Escudero while most seniors (56 years old and above) said they will go for Marcos.
Escudero enjoyed a clear lead among Catholic (31 percent), Born Again (32 percent) and Muslim (31 percent) voters, showing that the strong pull of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in Mindanao was not automatically transferable to his running mate, Cayetano. Marcos, on the other hand, was the top choice of Iglesia ni Cristo (40 percent) and Aglipayan (48 percent) voters.
By ethnicity, most Tagalogs chose Escudero, while Robredo led among Ilonggos and Bicolanos. Marcos, on the other hand, was the top choice of Ilocanos and Pangasinenses. Cebuano votes were split among Escudero, Cayetano and Robredo while Marcos and Escudero were tied among Kapampangans and Warays.
The top reasons given by respondents for supporting their vice presidential bets are as follows: 39 percent said they will support Escudero for his experience and clean reputation; 44 percent said they will support Marcos in the hope that he will continue the good deeds of his father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, and in the belief that he could be a good leader; 42 percent said they will go for Robredo for her potential as a leader and in the hope that she will continue the good deeds of her late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo; 33 percent said they will vote for Cayetano for his experience and untainted reputation; and 38 percent said they will support Trillanes for his experience in the military and for being perceived as principled.
The top reasons for junking vice presidential candidates are as follows: 31 percent said Escudero is only their second choice and they would prefer him to remain in the Senate; 42 percent feared Marcos will be like his father and impose martial law; 57 percent said they won’t vote for Robredo because she is inexperienced and not well known; 33 percent said they don’t know much about Cayetano, who is perceived to lack experience; 34 percent said they do not like Honasan because he led coup attempts and is not well known; and 36 percent said they will not support Trillanes because they do not know him and he is a member of the Magdalo Group.